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What’s it like being a “fake priest” in Japan? | Ichimon Japan 04

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Today’s Question

On this episode of Ichimon Japan we ask: What’s it like being a fake priest in Japan?

Topics Discussed

  • What a nisebokushi is
  • The different terminology for priests in Japanese (shinpu vs bokushi)
  • The phenomenon of having foreigners dress as priests to officiate weddings in Japan
  • How most “fake priests” in Japan tend to be white men
  • The experiences of someone who worked as a fake priest in Japan
  • How much money one might expect to get paid when working as a fake priest
  • The job duties of a fake priest
  • What is rewarding about working as a fake priest
  • How it is common to see broccoli thrown instead of a bouquet of flowers at some weddings in Japan
  • The craziest thing one fake priest ever saw happen while on the job
  • A story involving someone’s head catching on fire during a wedding
  • Whether Japanese people also throw rice at weddings
  • Whether Japanese rpiests might be resentful of foreign “fake priests” for monopolizing the wedding chapel side of the wedding market
  • And more!

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Sources, Links, Videos, Etc.

To read Daniel Legare’s article in the December-January 2020 issue of Wasabi magazine, use the link below.

If you would like to get in touch with Daniel Legare in order to have him write an article or do Japanese to English translation you, can contact him via the email address below.

A few different Japanese-language terms got brought up in this episode, so here is list along with their possible translations.

  • Nisebokushi (ニセ牧師): literally translates to “fake priest”
  • Bokushi (牧師): pastor; minister; a Protestant priest
  • Shimpu (神父): Catholic priest; abbe; reverend father

For even more Japan-related contact check out the Japan Station podcast. All the episodes can be found using the link below.

We Want Your Questions

Is there something about Japan that confuses you? Is there something about Japanese culture that you would like to learn more about? Is there something in Japanese history that you would like us to explain? We’re always looking for new questions about Japan to answer, so if you have one, please send it to ichimon@japankyo.com.

Special Thanks

Opening/Closing Theme: Produced by Apol (YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Fiverr)

Ichimon Japan cover art: Produced by Erik R.

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